How to Draw a Male Character | Rob Mcleay | Skillshare

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How to Draw a Male Character

teacher avatar Rob Mcleay, Chief Tutorial Designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What is The Construction Image

    • 3. (Very Important!) Warming Up With Shapes

    • 4. Inspiration

    • 5. How to Draw The Large Middle Age Man (Dad)

    • 6. (Action Pose) How to Draw The Large Middle Age Man (Dad)

    • 7. Facial Expressions

    • 8. Exercise 1 What Happens Next

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About This Class

Hello new artists! 

Join me in this workshop where I will be showing you how to draw the dad from a cartoon family (other family members will be in further episodes)


The main learning outcome in this course is for the new artist to learn how to identify what shapes to draw when constructing a character, what order to draw them in and learning how to create some really awesome looking facial expressions.


Free feedback available in my Facebook group - I'll se you there



p.s. Like this tutorial then check out my brand new The Character Design Course on Skillshare

Meet Your Teacher

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Rob Mcleay

Chief Tutorial Designer


You are a prodigy cartoonist/designer that doodles and designs relentlessly late into the night and always that few minutes in the morning just before heading out the door to work, on the bus, at lunch, on the way home on the bus, on the toilet…


Hello, my name is Rob Mcleay,  founder of Mcleay Workshops, an online art and design school for people that can’t stop doodling.


Hey Rob, why should we invest our time and energy with you?

The solution to all your problems is right here!

I have brought my project making skills from the classroom to an online environment, giving students the chance to flex their drawing chops with over 100 studio-style projects to complete. 

For YEARS I studied the... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Morning, Rob Here, Wackman two McLay Workshops theory first episode off the Robber Clay Drawing show Oh, year Coming, Frito, we nubes out there Before we start, I want to get some housekeeping out of the way one. Avoid joint like the oak and stay away from super dark clients to no rubbers and out. You should be drawing light enough to make plenty of mistakes or thinking about lights. Keep a rough, for goodness sake, user blood pencil three Used the construction image provided. Let's see if we're reason and four, lastly will be using three elements from a draw. Eight. Method today shapes, detail and the construction image. So I'm gonna be breaking down the shown to three don't ingestible parts. Part one is gonna be the warm up the goal of getting your hand eye coordination working like Breeze Pat. So it's gonna be character design where we will be deconstructing a middle aged man. In Part three, we will finish off during multiple facial expressions, using a really simple technique that can be used on any character. Well, I am stoked to get this party started, so don't forget to print out the construction image for the lecture and if you have any questions about my lectures, lectures, please post them on my Facebook group 2. What is The Construction Image: Greetings, Rob here from the Robert Laid drawing show, and you're probably going What? What the heck's going on here, Rob? So it'll be super quick as a neighbourly straightened to the drawing the construction images part of the Draw eight method to help you draw bitter quick it and give you far more confidence when it comes to living in a drawer. It is a her drawn village of the character that you will be learning how to draw. It's a Siri's off, roughly drawn shapes for you to start with. Each lecture will come with a construction image, and you will need to print out plenty of copies before starting H one, and over time you will find that your skill level will increase and the need to use the construction image will decrease. I recommend to draw the construction images by themselves, which can be done in your warmups before hitting the main lecture. If you're still not sure, feel free to post comments on my Facebook group, and I'm sure someone will be there to help you out. OK, that's basically it. Super quick hand fun and remember to keep it loose. Rob out. You know 3. (Very Important!) Warming Up With Shapes: Okay, so now is the time to get super flexi with your fingers and supercharge your hand eye coordination and take it to the next level. Woman ups are a vital component to drawing. Well, it's a little like stretching before you run a marathon. So I think 5 to 10 minutes should be enough. And you will also notice that I do this before each main section will be to lecture. So in today's warm up, it's all about circles and ovals. Now you're probably asking me why the circles rob. Well, that's a great question, newbie. We inherently use circles in our walls and everything that we draw, so it makes sense to massively shape before anything else. So your first mission, if you choose to accept it, it's a draw. A whole page for Stickles enables off different sizes. Each shape a ship three rotations on this one, able you to draw a more solid in convincing shape, so full of at least two a four sheets of paper. And once you have filled up four pages worth around a 2232 unique shapes, Wiggins that ed some guidelines to each one so the guidelines happens to place the main features and what we enjoy in this case. That center line is for the nose and mouth in the horizontal line helps a place, the ears, eyes and the nose. And for your enjoyment, I have added a construction image for this woman up in your photo. Theo, that's one of the many warmups are beginning you to complete. Do this for five minutes, then progress to the next lecture. Once again, if you have any questions or I'm not too sure what to do, please post your question on my Facebook page dude out. 4. Inspiration: So I've been asked by students to deconstruct the process on how are designed characters and the following mixtures. I will introduce new students to a process that uses inspiration to generate ideas. I also cover inspiration and most modern lectures and recommend orgy specifically jet toe, understand and grasp this concept well. Incidently inspiration source. Apart off the draw method I knew the type of character I wanted to create and was leaning towards a larger, obese smell. So began my research by pulling together an image board and reference photo off material that I liked. My favorite place at the moment is interest, which is really easy to create your own boards with and also to see if it could and certain keywords that just character design. When I am in my researching phase, I use my intuition and first buzz, which basically means anything that slightly appeals to May and a whip it off straight to the reference fold up. Once I click my stash, it's time to draw now the stage you don't need in a razor. It's all about exploring with shapes, trying up big kids, small bodies morbid with big bodies, big bodies of tiny legs, small bodies with big leagues. Drawings should be quick in rough and should definitely be during with a super blunt pencil . Once shapes are starting to come together and they seem to be matching your ideal character . This is when you begin to to refine your rough drawings. Here are five characters that I created previously and the shapes that work well with each one, you will notice that I've kept the shaped really simple. The idea behind this is to see if they work together in harmony. So the two main shapes I'm drawing here and just for the head and the body also throw in a central line to indicate the direction off the character. Now, if you're needing more examples, I've attached a worksheet with 20 further examples. Okay, great. This concludes the inspiration lecture, Look up form or ideas in processes and Advil. Each is especially on the direct method. Siri's This is Rob, starting off 5. How to Draw The Large Middle Age Man (Dad): Hey, I'm back. You should have warmed up by now. We're now impact to which is character design with the main focuses on learning how to draw a middle age counting men, we're now going to utilize three construction image. Then I spoke about before. Hopefully you printed out. If not, I recommend about five copies. So if you have not yet watch the construction image election, I recommend that you do basically the construction images part off the Draw eight method, which helps you to draw quicker and better. The construction image in this lecture is showing you the core shapes that they used to construct. This character with the order of shapes is an important piece of information that you need to understand. So normally I started for the hit sickened of drawn the torso and last I add the arms and legs. So once you've placed the shapes in the creek place, you can finally add the detail, which is what I will be drawing today. So the idea behind this way of teaching is that when you begin to learn how to draw, you need specific examples two kicks that the drawing with and these examples need to be drawn the correct way. Scientific it stack, please refer back to their construction. I'm into lecture if you're not sure what to do or even hit me up on my Facebook group. Okay, first things first. Let's warm up by drawing the main shapes of the character and 32nd gesture poses. This is a really a really great way to get your hand eye coordination, working well and learning how the main shapes work together. Another thing to consider is when you add arms and legs to your character, it's all about the wires. Well, the bones give this a go for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until we want to poke your eyes out of needles. And then it was just a joke. Warmups. Have fun. Trust me. Another thing to look out. Uh, Linda Lingle cap for our proportions, which means getting your shapes the correct size, as shown in this example. So what you also need to consider Here's how many heads within the torso. The heart of this character is 4.5 feet toy. So pretty much every time you draw this character and the back your mind, you are thinking that this character should be at least 4.5. He it's high. And also don't get too strung out on this right now, as it is something that you'll learn over time, however, they will also be a pretty solid episode focusing on this during principal. - Okay , let's move on. We need to do now is watch, learn and copy. I'm going to begin this, carried by standing off of the head by drawing in the detail. Lost that by sketching in the ear and during around the head, adding in the here and then out and in the outline off the face. The next step is to sketch in your eyeballs that sit on our guidelines. If you take a close look, you can see it. There is a space to fit another. I pull in the forehead area. This will help you to get that shapes the create size and in the white place, and you could probably for another 1.5 and the space between the ear and lift I. So using the guidelines, I'm just ended in a few more details, such as the eyebrows, the nose and the mouth and I also needed to define the shape of his big affection, which can also be used as the outline of his Children. Now we can touch up the shadow underneath his face for the Superfly edge off your pencil. After all the shenanigans, it's now tone to put some 60 million clothes on them. All began where sketchy and lightly the collar, and then start to work around the outline of his right arm or left, depending on how you look at it. So the next step is to begin to ed minor detail off the cuff of the shit. Add more definition to the hand and strategic placement off the color. Okay, it is here that you can then begin scanning the entire body to look for things that you have missed or you think you can add more detail does you can see that I've ended some more shadow to the inside of the color, which will give the illusion off depth. So we have come to the end of this character tutorial. But before I sign off, I'm going to add one more touch by drawing in some show that will happen. Give it a more three dimensional feel. So there you have it. One vet, middle aged man. No. Guess what? It's your turn. Feel afraid of pressure to run my Facebook group and I will review it next up facial expressions. 6. (Action Pose) How to Draw The Large Middle Age Man (Dad): Howdy Rob here. So you should have completed a with previous lectures before eating up here today. And we haven't Holly recommend doing so Has this lecture is a little more advanced, and as a few animation principles thrown to the ring just confuse you more than ever. Okay, so first things first, print out the action, pose construction image in your folder to practice with or Teen. If you really love to practice, this lecture is a little different because I will be starting from scratch. In the previous lectures I used process from a draw eight method that uses construction images to help you understand How did your quicker you were, effectively starting at the halfway point, which gently introduced you to the process of drawing. And believe me, this method works extremely well. I'll be posting outward from all miles students that have only been dropped six months up on Facebook. So what shop for it? This lecture I'll be starting from the very beginning and a really loosed format. Hips of rough lines drawn lightly. Michael was fishing out the full boarding and up emoting it into a character. If two options are we to start option one is the start right here. Watch lewd. Copy how I stopped the George. Or if you are lacking confidence, begin with your action. Pose construction image right in the middle of this lecture, you'll have noticed that I have began to draw this character with some sweeping Lyme work. This helps May to give my character fluidity or naturalness. I have used a lot of action, which is an animation principle that I will cover and through the detail at a later date. As you can see, he's hanging from a rope I've indicated by caving the rope that he is now hanging in swinging from it. I've also introduced weights to the equation, along with some basic movement and transfer off this weight. Hands are drawn and simple. Rounded shapes, arms, a loosely drawn lines that followed the natural curve and legs and feet are proffy sketch done with thick lines. Take note of the vertical line from the hand to the base of the nick. This is yet another animation drawing principle could straits on curves also explained to future episodes. So once I'm happy with my rough loan work, I think is not to commit to this language by drawing DACA. Drawing in a directional line will help you to keep your character on point. This is more to benefit you and obviously won't be used in the final drawing. I have also drawn in line with the waiter shifting to on the rope the Nash off by sketching in the Scherer underneath your character and also had some random dust. This will give your character. He seemed the place. - Who K. Then now is the time to put that action pose. Construction image you will have done is tell lighters. This helps when you are drawing the detail on top of the shapes. When you have a go drinking construction, image yourself, try and keep the same a pass ity coming through as per normal. Start your detail by drawing in the facial features. I do this face to give my character his personality, which house me, then to draw the rest of his friend. The guidelines will help you to places features, and don't forget when you're drawing to still keep. Drawing lightly is there is no doubt that you'll be making mistakes, so you should now have the eyes drawn in the ears, nose and mouth and eyebrows or ready to go. Right now, we begin to work on this thick as Nick, his chunky chin and touch ups around his face, such as the shadow in the mouth toughs office here and his goofy head. Okay, so here's a little tip when you a shading in parts of your character, keep the angle of the loan work of the same for each stroke. Cool when drawing in the head like it's kitchen the shape of the box and make sure I have the sitting on the arm to give a sense of depth. It also adds to an interesting, so the weight in that particular area, so still awaits or outline is part of the draw it method and helps you to place objects in the right area. Look out for this Joe right Method Lecture series. Once you happy with your constructions, kitsch and you think that allow the shapes and loan work are in the correct place. You could now start to commit with Dr Struck's by pushing a little harder on your pencil, we can now found to use a sharp pencil for the detail, especially for the facial features. This is the time to really focus on detail and to slow down and take your time. The second part of your drawing should take twice as long injected with the first half. So just keep that in mind. I now give you blew it permission to sometimes using a raise up only sometimes not all the time. - Now I'm going to go at drawing the rope. As I said earlier, I have had it awaits or split. Is the character hang offered? Mastering this technique can do wonders for your self confidence, but don't worry too much at this stage. If you are struggling with this principle, especially if you're new to drawing, do what I do. Take a deep breath. I want to buy Exhale into your based I'm also during the hands holding the rope. Once again, this is another advanced drawing technique, which still gets me occasionally so I won't jump down this rebel whole right now but may save it for a rainy day. It's at this stage that you can sort of Potter around the character and begin touching up spots that you missed a little bit like cleaning the house. Start to darken up your line. Work is mostly kissing has been done. The dust particles are some of my favorite things to draw as it gives the illusion off movement. Also, by drawing in the shadow below the character. This also gives the viewer clues on what he's up to in this case, swinging like affect. Man during in Dr Lines in strategic places can't add more depth and contrast your character , especially inside the mouth. Heading some Shano to the back home also had some deep continued acting the lines till you're happy with the results. So with hands on me in this story are proving quite difficult, and in this case, I would tend to redraw them a few more times and also use um, pretty solid reference material off similar characters that are also holding ropes. If you seem to be having the same problems that I am, let's start a drawing hands for pressed artist group het me up. When you created that, I'll be in Okay, we're now coming to the end of this ex imposible lecture was quite advanced episode and I did introduce you to a few drawing principles that once mastered. We're happy to draw better and with more confidence. I recommend that you try completing this later with and without the construction image that test Giulio level of drawing. Please post whatever you do on my Facebook group or if you're feeling a little shy. Just look me an email and I will give you some solid feet. Bank, this is Rob be so. 7. Facial Expressions : do que. Then it's time for some good old facial expressions bus. Before we go any further, you will need to print out your construction image for this lecture to practice book. And if you're not familiar with the construction image and how it can make your life extremely amazing, is a newbie artist. Then I would recommend watching the construction image like show okay now to draw the very first hit. So look for the guidelines, and I have drawn on your construction image. Remember guidelines and meat to be opaque in, just visible to the eye, even if it is your rough drawer. And on these guidelines, I will draw on the features of the face and no particular particular order, but generally eyes first in the wrist and remember to keep it light and rough. - Okay , now it's face number. Endorse. That's too. If you're English, this expression is borderline evil, so a slight smirk with eyebrows, tingling in words is all it takes to go from nice dead to evil, dead. Once again, it's exactly the same approach as base number one. That's who you know. If your Spanish and next I'm going to add the eyeballs in the same place invented with first example. So now you should be able to see a pattern started to take place, and we were here. You can now add the rest of the face if we deconstruct the special expression of an evil, middle aged fat men. What makes him decidedly evil? ARIZ eyebrows Working in conjunction with the smoke Small, subtle changes can really make a huge difference in the personality of a character. So you also notice I like to throw in a floating objects on or around my characters, such as as Groovy. Looking at this is just part of my quickly style. Never time you will develop your own. But first, let's just learn the basics of During first I get in. Face number three. This is the I just sat down a prickly cactus look. Ouch! Here he was trying to figure out with the to scream in agony or produce a delicate men Teoh . So get yourself a new construction image from the folder and follow my lead New me. Once again, we're starting with the eyes, which to small circles and if you are struggling with the create size, also known as proportions. Remember when I see it about how many allies can fit in the forehead area and the area between the air and the eyeball? And if you are struggling with proportions, take a deep, long inhale good boy and Exhale is I will be covering this drawing principal at a later date. You kiddin? Now moving on to face number four. This is the I've just see a prank. It's going off the hook. Look what's again throwing to my balls. But this time, take a look at what I do with the bottom of his eyes. I caught the squint, then Ed eyebrows, and you had some really great expressions happening and keep this work, but also feel free to mix and match with the other mouth he had drawn. Finish off of some shadow, which, incidentally, can also work as a stubble. Then finish off with the budget. Oh yeah, So now I'm gonna rip out a quick sketch in real time using the shapes that I used to make this guy's head. But I tend to call this a rough drawer, and usually it's a syriza rough lines to form the character with. I also like to use a blunt pencil with a flat edge on this form of drawing so I could have more lime work to explore. So keep your pencil flat and blunt. Any time you're doing rough drawings, it will make sense every time. So in this kitchen, basically free balling it, letting loose, saying we have the pencil takes May I've ended up with an angry sheltering greaser. Would you two just free ball at four or five or so minutes? Go crazy and don't worry about mistakes. Cool. Now that's facial expressions locked and loaded. Just repeat and or its post your drawings, questions and comments and feedback on my Facebook group catching the next leisure is Rob sort of. 8. Exercise 1 What Happens Next: welcome to a brand new exercise. What happens next? Lectures utilized thumbnail sketches to help flesh up movement imposes in your character with your family house same time. And it's also a great way to see how a character moves on screen or on your comment panels . So you have mastered a few poses for our main character. Well done. Next up, we will be having a go at what I call what happens next. So after completing the six eyes, you'll have a basic understanding off key frame. Troy Key frame drawing is using animation playing out of scene. It's all about the main poses, So in this exercise, I'm going to get you to move this guy across the screen. He's going to sleep in the year, grab the rope swinging, but Lego and land firstly, find your what happens next. Construction image print out here you will find three before poses is thumbnail sketches drawn, a shaped only Hedegaard drawing these fists for practice. Next, I want you to draw the last four poses and the sequence similar to mine. And remember, there is no detail, so I suppose four is jumping. Pose five is hey onto the rope put six. Swing the rope, just about a jump off and posts even he's landed on the ground a little bit perplexed. So next up, one thing I like to play around with the moment line I space out each pose evenly in users Circle as America, which ends up being the head. I will then add the body shape once I've entered the body shape and old, drawing the arms and legs as wire frames. So here's a little tip. Try experimenting with your arms and eggs in the natural curves and avoid having your limbs , both doing the same thing. Avoid symmetrical movements. Now you've had a quick primer on what happens next. I'm going to take the training wheels off. Print off the What happens next construction image in Ed, your extra poses. So to recap, your task is to draw Pose 456 in seven with thumbnail sketches, and the next lecture will take post Sibon and develop it further by adding emotion and detail. Good luck